Lechon vendors in Palawan are encouraged to grill chicken and pork separately to ensure halal food preparation for the Muslim community.

Board Member Ariston Arzaga said Tuesday, October 4, that the food preparation must always be halal compliant in consideration of the traditions and beliefs of the Muslim community.

He explained that pigs, including their products, are considered haram, or unlawful and forbidden based on Islamic Law.

Arzaga said that most of the lechon vendors in the province are preparing pork and chicken products together before cooking.

“Kung mapapansin ninyo halos sa lahat ng sulok ay may lechong manok at baboy. Kapag ni-le-lechon kasi ang manok at baboy at halos magkasama sila, hindi naman natin binabawal hindi ini-impose as mandatory, pero nakikiusap tayo na sana ang mga utensils na ginagamit ay magkahiwalay,” he said.

He also encouraged the restaurants to do the same but clarified that it is not mandatory and merely a request concerning the belief of Muslims.

Halal is any food permitted under Islamic Law and should fulfill the conditions, including not being prepared, transported, or stored using any appliance, storage, or in direct contact with foods considered unlawful.

“Isama na rin natin ang mga nasa restaurants, ‘wag na nila haluan ng mga utensils na haram o unlawful. Sana maintindihan nila at ‘wag naman nila isipin na may pinapaboran,” he said.

He also cited Section 5, Article III of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, which declares that no law shall be made disrespecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious professions and worship shall be permitted in perpetuity, without discrimination or preference.

“Nire-recognize naman natin bawat belief, religion, at tradition, sa kanila kasi haram–unlawful or forbidden ang mahaluan ng pork, maisama o maihalo sa pagprepare kaya halal food preparation lang ang hinihingi natin dito,” Arzaga said.

The measure was approved on the first and final reading.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.